Armond Cohen: Looks at Lovins’s claims with questioning analysis

A few hours ago, I posted a blog titled Amory Lovins-speak: Three misleading statements in a 15 second sound bite. That post included a video embed of Lovins presentation during a March 28, 2014 symposium sponsored by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth titled Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium: The Past, Present, and Future of Nuclear Energy.

That talk was followed — after a break — by the following panel discussion. If you don’t have time to watch the whole hour and 21 minutes, you might want to focus on the first 20 minutes. That is the section where Armond Cohen, the Executive Director of the Clean Air Task Force and former guest on the Atomic Show, provides a presentation with analysis that is direct opposition to the talk that Lovins gave. Though Cohen was not provided an advance review of Lovins’s talk, he has probably heard similar talks from the same source often enough to know what to expect.

Several times during his presentation, Cohen said something to the effect of “And here our conclusion is different from than the one that Amory provided.”

My interpretation of Cohen’s talk was that he once hoped renewables and energy efficiency could be able to do the job without a lot of help from either fossil fuel or nuclear energy, but after running the numbers he recognized that the probability was not high enough to risk betting the cleanliness of our shared atmosphere on a hope.

Cohen is evidently a hockey fan, like several nuclear advocates that I know in Washington, so his prescription for our energy future uses a hockey analogy. He recommends that we take a lot of shots on goal and to avoid removing one of our most potent and proven scorers from the game.

PS – Cohen and I do not see eye to eye on some topics, especially with regard to the potential utility of offshore wind. I am adamantly opposed to offshore wind, especially the Cape Wind project, but have not been spending much time worrying about it. I predicted several years ago that it would never be built, but the project keeps getting jolts from the death-delaying paddles of political intervention.

Amory Lovins-speak: Three misleading statements in a 15 second sound bite

I had the opportunity to be in the audience during the above talk. You might notice my impolite interjections; I have often been accused of being very poor at hiding my real reactions and feelings. There is a reason why I stopped playing poker during game nights on the USS Stonewall Jackson. I was losing […]

Read more »

Proud nuclear-enthusiast bubble dweller

A friend just passed me a link to an article on Clean Technica by Zachary Shahan titled Why Are So Many Redditors Obsessed With Uncompetitive Nuclear Energy?. Shahan bemoans the fact that nuclear supporters on Reddit seem to outnumber solar and wind supporter and believes that contrasts with the real world as demonstrated by the […]

Read more »

Cape Wind scrambling to meet deadline to qualify for $780 million taxpayer gift

Cape Wind is the leading offshore wind energy project in the United States. In 2001, more than 12 years ago, Jim Gordon, the project founder, started the process of promoting his vision of a building a 430 MWe (peak capacity) field of 130 massive (rotor diameter – 110 m, hub height – 80 m, nacelle […]

Read more »

Limitations of unreliable energy sources (aka “renewables”)

As part of the discussions stimulated by their airing of Pandora’s Promise, CNN hosted a debate between Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute and Dale Bryk of the Natural Resources Defense Council. That debate included some commentary that I thought was worth promoting to the front page. A commenter named Fred, a tech who has […]

Read more »

Solar energy salesman claims nuclear costs twice as much as solar

In the above clip titled Is nuclear power good for our planet Andrew Birch, the co-founder and CEO of Sungevity says that the main reason that he does not like nuclear energy is that it “costs too much”. However, he reveals the shallow nature of his energy production understanding and his financially driven bias by […]

Read more »

Michael Brune of Sierra Club calls nuclear energy irrelevant. Robert Stone says it’s vital to our future

During the promotional period leading up to CNN’s initial airing of Pandora’s Promise, Michael Brune, executive direction of the Sierra Club, and Robert Stone, the director of Pandora’s Promise, engaged in a meaningful discussion about nuclear energy hosted by Kate Bolduan. During the discussion, Brune explains that the Sierra Club believes that nuclear energy projects […]

Read more »

Everything’s Coming Up Trilliums

by Jeremy Whitlock Ah, Nuclear Power, my old friend. Please do come in. Have a seat. Again you’ve been away too long. I feel silly coming here Doc. Now, now, hush. Sooner or later, everyone comes here. Tell me, how are things going? Well that’s just it Doc – on the face of it you […]

Read more »

Open letter to Ralph Nader from Timothy Maloney – Atomic energy is much better than you think

By Timothy Maloney, PhD Editor’s note: Timothy Maloney has written a number of text books about electrical circuits, electricity, and industrial electronics. The below is a copy of a letter that he wrote to Ralph Nader in response to an opinion piece published by CounterPunch under the headline Why Atomic Energy Stinks Worse Than You […]

Read more »

Mark Jacobson pushing his plans in appropriate location – late night comedy show

On October 9, 2013, David Letterman interviewed Mark Z. Jacobson, a leading proponent of a 100% renewable energy future. He described Jacobson as a man with a plan that should make us all more optimistic; that plan describes a world that has a completely changed energy supply system that does not threaten us with catastrophic […]

Read more »

Talk of electric power grid demise is wrong

Someday, America is going to return to logic and reality. We may be making some progress as shown by the fact that there are an increasing number of people who no longer watch TV or trust the TV talking heads in the entertainment business called “television news.” However, we still have our issues. One irrational […]

Read more »

Value of an unspoiled view

One of my favorite Atomic Insights commenters left an inspiring message in a thread that was evolving into a discussion about wind energy, including its environmental impacts and low productivity. Daniel; Do you recall a time when a bucolic scenic view was just priceless; that beyond just property values you just didn’t allow anything mar […]

Read more »